Tag Archives: Sensory processing

Aspie Sean Week 6: “Aspie’s & Sensory Issues”.

Sensory overload and sensory problems can be one of the most disabling aspects of being an Aspie. For me avoiding social situations is necessary for survival. Being constantly overloaded is stressful and bad for our health.

Apparently I am not the only person who can not handle a crowded restaurant, club, or other loud busy venue. If I force myself into these situations I can sometimes survive them but by the time I get home I implode into myself.

If I get overloaded it can take me hours to decompress. I have to remove myself from all sensory input and people the frustrating thing is it takes me a long time to recover once I’ve been overloaded and once I have one overload more overloads become more likely.

Life with Asperger’s: Employment – OriginalRetrophiliac

Being in the modern work place makes me feel like a fish out of water. Florescent light bulbs, humming air conditioners on the roof above my desk, constant ringing of phones, and people randomly interrupting my work to ask me questions.

Networking events and social expectations. Corporate culture an professionalism are minefields that I have to work thorough everyday with great effort.  By the time I get home I am so worn out that I can barely think straight.

Starting a new job is always the hardest because I have to learn a new routine. I definitely prefer to have the same days off and same schedule every week because I have chronic insomnia and sleeping at the same time every day is the best medicine for this particular problem.

Having a full time job is hard but so is being unemployed although most days when I go to the office I feel as if I am just “getting by” in life – surviving.

Its funny because I actually REALLY love my job but the sensory and social aspects of it kill me sometimes.

I just came across the OriginalRetrophiliac channel on YouTube and look forward to following for more great content.

Asperger’s Girl- Pro’s and Con’s to getting a diagnosis

I am under the impression that getting a diagnosis, even as an adult, can be helpful but everyone is different and paying $1000 or more out of pocket to see a professional may not be an option for some people.

Before seeking out a formal diagnosis, I had already accepted my autism but realized that being diagnosed could help me to ask for things I needed and explain why there are some things that I struggle with. It protects me from liability and will allow me to request accommodation of future employers, airlines, hotels, and people around me and more.

Amazing AsperGirl Anja Melissa talks about the pro’s and con’s to getting a diagnosis. I can take NO credit for her video. Please subscribe to Anja’s channel on YouTube.

The natural rhythm of stimming: Erin Clemens at TEDxWestChester – Everybody Stims

Wow! I am just floored but this AMAZING performance! WAY TO GO!

I wish I had the text to go along with this poem to paste below but I have a hard time transcribing things word for word and do not want to mangle her beautiful poem!

Everybody stims – not just you and me. 😉

An amazing poem about Autism and Stimming  The natural rhythm of stimming: Erin Clemens at TEDxWestChester via TEDx Talks

Autistic Advice: What is Stimming?

James Owen shares his experience with stimming on his YouTube channel in his video Autistic Advice: What is Stimming? (below).

I was beginning to wonder if anyone else had more discrete stimms or never realized they were stimming until they heard about stimming.

I like to stim with music on – maybe because I just look like I am doing some really bad offbeat dance to the music. It feels so good.

I also like to wrap myself in silken and fuzzy fabrics and sniff essential oils. These are some of my more “acceptable” adult stims.

I can take NO credit for his content below. Please subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Autism is not my disability.

Autism is not my disability, altough I truly believe that it is the root of all my “superpowers”.

My disability is invisible because I am able to blend in with society. People don’t know if I am suffering. When I speak up asking for help I am told that I am not “Autistic enough”.

Autism is not the disability, although symptoms of my sensory processing difficulties can leave me crippled and unable to function.

The disability is society’s misunderstanding of Autistic people.

Cure culture says erase the Autism. Neurodiversity begs you treat us with compassion, learn about us, and accept us as we are.

Autistic children are sent to therapy to help them look “less Autistic”. They learn to be still, and learn how different they are from everyone else.

We become self-conscious and learn that our differences are something to be ashamed of.

So no, I am not disabled. Society has unrealistic expectations.

 

What Does Autism Feel Like?

I was having a deep conversation (via Google Hangouts instant messenger) with a close friend about my Autism. He made a comment that he did not see Autism as a disability, but more as an alternate way of thinking that is not serviced very wall by the modern education system. I agree – partially. . .

Quickly I realized that no matter how hard I tried, there was no way I could accurately explain or convey the parts of my Autism that truly “disable” me. Searching the internet, I quickly found a few articles with other Aspie who had attempted to explain what I currently could not – the negative things that NT’s have a hard time comprehending.

“What does Autism feel like?” In that moment I was completely unable to explain.

The most disabling part of Autism (for me) may be its invisibility and my status as “high functioning”. Everyone expects me to do ok. I am smart, and use my ability to pick up on patterns to get ahead in the world. I am one of those “gifted” Aspies so my Autism must be a gift right?

My good days are amazing but on my worst days my sensory overload wont let me out of bed. Currently I am averaging about three really bad days a month. They hit at random stop my world in its tracks.

People can’t tell when I am having sensory problems. Some days are worse than others and most days I am in at least mild pain at all times. The lights hurt my eyes and head, smells make me gag, small sounds nag at me constantly, I walk into walls, trip over things, and sometimes miss my mouth when I eat.

I miss many things in most conversations. I am awkward, weird, and my intentions are often misunderstood. If someone is not smiling or looking pissed off I can’t read them – unless I know them very well. Normally I have NO clue when I’ve offended someone.

Autism feels like I am out of sync with the world and its people. I am alone in a lot of ways, that may sound sad but honestly I am happiest when I am alone with my own thoughts.

Below are some of the items I found while researching how to better explain Sensory Overload.

 I can take NO credit for anything below.

My visual experience is also rather radical. Bright light can be painful — honestly, any light can be painful and I often compensate with sunglasses. I can also get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of imagery that my mind is attempting to process at one time. I take in everything in a panoramic sense — and that sometimes makes it hard for me to focus on the central thing I’m supposed to see. I’ve found that wearing a ball cap helps me filter, by force, that which is crashing in by flood — it works in the same sense that “horse blinders” do at the race track.

Lori Sealy of The Mighty shares – My Answer to the Question ‘What Does Autism Feel Like?’ talking about her sensory processing difficulties.

One Guy’s Opinion: What it feels like to have autism as an adult by by

In general…

  • Before you know you have it, you simply assume that you have an odd personality.
  • After you find out that other people are in the same situation as you, you realize that you are in fact quite a normal autistic, and that many of your quirks are symptoms.

Social experience…

  • You have some trouble taking hints, but only figure this out very late, or when other people tell you. It takes you very long to learn how to pick up in hints, and you never learn pick up on all of them.
  • You sense that other people place more importance on how they are feeling. It affects their judgement, and things that are not based on logic and facts may come off as unreasonable or immature to you.
  • You notice that people spend more time on small talk and polite phrases than you, but you don’t like it, as it don’t really convey useful information. You may have trouble initiating conversations with strangers because you lack skills in this area.. .

Check out full article here.

Video Simulations to Help You Experience Sensory Overload

 

Carly’s Café – Experience Autism Through Carly’s Eyes

Carly Fleischmann is a nonverbal Autism advocate and YouTube talk show host. She is AMAZING. I strongly recommend you check her out.

Video HERE.

What it’s like to walk down a street when you have autism or an ASD

More great videos on Craig Thomson‘s YouTube channel.

Video HERE.

Autism: Sensory Overload Simulation

Check out the streamofawareness YouTube channel for more.

Video HERE.

Sensory Overload Simulation

More from WeirdGirlCyndi on YouTube.

Video HERE.

I Said No (To Something I’d Been Looking Forward to)

Every time I publish a blog about being tough and pushing yourself, there are always comments complaining that I am not paying enough attention to self care.

Yes it is possible to practice self care while pushing yourself. I do it every single day.

In the morning, when my sensory issues bother me the most, it is hard for me to get out of bed but I PUSH myself to do it anyway because I know the pain is only temporary. I try to brush my teeth, because doing so is good for me, but if the sensation is too much to handle on any given day I will stop.

I like to touch my limits, but I am very careful to be respectful of them. Pushing too far is not helpful to anyone.

Some things just suck too much to push through, like last night. I awoke to a spinning room and gargling stomach just after two am. Finally, after four hours of vomiting,  I am able to fall asleep.

When I wake up at eight I feel much better but my stomach is still tender and my body weak. I’d been looking forward to going out to lunch with my friend, but I  texted her to reschedule this morning. Today I need to rest and take care of myself. I also need to work (thank goodness I work from home).

Once again pushing myself while being respectful to what my limits are at this moment. I can handle working from home under a pile of blankets right now, but would not be able to handle doing anything in public.

Pushing. Pulling. Finding the right balance and never giving up.

 

 

Aspies – We Need to Toughen Up

I’ve been fairly successful in life because I push myself. I don’t have a big house, fancy car, or name brand things, but our modest home and practical vehicles serve us just fine. We life day to day, paycheck to paycheck, but life is good. We have what we need.

Every day I push myself to my limits – as I write this blog I am struggling through sensory overload just trying to get words out.

When I’ve gone too long without refreshing my batteries I sometimes get sensory overload. Many people now understand that sensory overload is something that many Aspies struggle with, but my sensory overload is a bit different.

All of my senses seem to connect to two parts of my body – my head and my stomach. Most of the time when I am worn down I will get a “headache”. Naps or long hot baths are often an excellent cure when all of my characteristic Aspie anxiety ends up in my head. I can (and do) push past a headache for a few hours if I need to get through my work day, although if I go too long I might cry.

Headaches are horrible but when everything shifts to my stomach I am crippled. every sound, smell, or movement, makes me gag. Sometimes all I cam do is like in bed in a quiet room but not today.

Today I am fighting the swirling nausea. I am choking down the urge to vomit. I’ve got work in five minutes and I’ve got a life to get to. My job lets me work from home fairly often, so on days like this – when I wonder how many hours of my life have been spent with my head in a toilet – are my own little secret. Never let them see you sweat.

Toughen up Aspies – the world doesn’t understand us yet, so we have to fight to fit in.  I am sick but I am pushing myself as hard as I can.

I’m Not Built For City Life

I hate the city. I don’t like the noise, the smell, the large concentration of strangers.

I’m a numbers person. I like facts and statistics. Numbers don’t lie.

Violent crimes happen more often in a big city – rape, burglary, and random acts of violence. We don’t have those where I could from.

All that and still I find myself here sitting in the 8th floor parking garage downtown almost an hour before my shift starts. Why? Because letting myself be defeated is not an option. I can make it through a day in hell – one step at a time.

I left the house at 5:30a.m. this morning in order to make my 6:30 a.m. shift start time.

Perhaps the worst thing about the city is the traffic. A drive that should take 20 minutes can take an hour and a half depending on when you leave and the time of day.

Being late gives me anxiety so I arrive at least a half hour early to anything important. Back home I don’t have to worry about traffic, but migrating into the city for work bring unpredictable traffic patterns.

My supersonic hearing is overwhelmed while walking on the city streets. The noise of birds the perfume of flowers washed away by the sounds of car horns and smells of human waste.

Homeless people ask for money as I walk  from the parking garage to the convention center, some forcefully. I’ve heard on the news people were attacked for not giving. I don’t carry cash.

“Please don’t ask me” I say to myself. I can’t read their faces or decipher their intent. It is almost impossible for me to read strangers. Is this person dangerous? I have no idea.

As a child I had no fear of strangers. I would wander right up to them and star talking at them – monologue style. Spouting off information about my favorite hobbies.

The older I get, the more I am aware of my impairments. This has sparked a fear in me that was not there before. I’ve always been an anxious person, but when I was younger I couldn’t see danger – so I did not know it was there.

Now I know that I cannot always see or hear danger – and that in itself is terrifying.

I get lost in the little details, and being alert in the city demands that you be aware of busy surroundings. It is hard for me to not get draw into one little piece of my surroundings.

My shift goes well but my batteries are running low. Back to the parking garage I race not sure how much more of the “real world” I can handle.

Darkness is just sinking in as I get into my car. Driving during rush hour traffic is difficult. I have a hard time with depth perception / judging distance. Driving at night is terrifying because I can barely see the road.

My mother always pointed out that there was something wrong with the way I interpenetrated distance (probably because I walked into a lot of walls and doorways as a kid). It wasn’t until learning about being an Aspie that I began to understand how badly I am affected by this issue.

Unfortunately I am just not built for city life.